Friday, March 18, 2011

Florida brothers receive one year in jail for false imprisonment in death of deaf man

From JAX 4 News:

YULEE, Fla. -- Two brothers who pleaded guilty to charges connected to the death of a deaf man pulled outside a Yulee bowling alley more than four years ago were sentenced Thursday to 12 months in jail.

Ralph and Peter Turlington pleaded no contest to false imprisonment in the December 2006 incident in which 22-year-old Bruce Doss (pictured)died.

In exchange for their pleas, charges of manslaughter were dropped.

According to prosecutors, the brothers also agreed to testify against the third defendant in the case, Michael Gammons, who still faces the manslaughter charge. His trial is scheduled for next month.

Detectives said Doss got into a confrontation inside the bowling alley, and was asked to leave after making an inappropriate comment to a woman.

Prosecutors said Gammons and the Turlington brothers followed Doss outside and began fighting with him, then held him down for between 10 and 20 minutes.

Deputies said when they arrived, Doss was unresponsive. He was taken to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Nassau County investigators determined that Doss suffocated, partly as a result of being held down.

No one from Doss' family attended the sentencing hearing, but Ralph Turlington's fianceƩ said Thursday said he held Doss down to prevent him from running into the road. He wasn't responsible to Doss' death and she expected him to walk of of the courtroom after the hearing rather than be taken to jail.

"He was trying to keep the guy from running into the road. He head onto his feet," Sabrina Slate said. "He didn't have anything to do, really, with what made him die."